Sunday, October 2, 2011

Army of Darkness

Have you missed one of my favorite films of all time…
Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead Trilogy is one of my favorite series.  The progression from balls to the walls scares of the first, through the comical Army of Darkness end of the series. (though a remake/sequel is all but a sure thing)  As the films progress the series comes to rest more and more on the shoulders (or chin) of one man…Bruce Campbell.  His portrayal of Ashley Williams has inspired comics, video games and every medium conceivable.  Starting in Evil Dead Ash he goes from average schulb to total bad ass spitting out one liners like a champ.  

Army of Darkness provides him the perfect medium for his shtick.  Picking up immediately after the events of Evil Dead 2, Ash emerges from the portal in medieval times.   With a brazen attitude Ash moves from slapstick dismemberment to slapstick dismemberment with the energy of all three stooges combined.  One of my favorite elements is that Ash’s main physical antagonists are himself.  In the film he fights himself, tiny versions of himself and the character known as Evil Ash.  This trend began in Evil Dead 2 when he battles his hand in one of the all time classic horror sequences. 
If you have not seen Army of Darkness be warned, it is a film that generally is loved or loathed, for no element is subtle.  If you are in the mood for a visually impressive horror film, with a total lack of scares you can do no better.  If I have failed to interest you in this film please click Ash below to read Scott Tobias’ impression of the film for his cult cannon series from the av club.  

There are two versions of Army of Darkness available.  The Theatrical edition and the Director’s cut or “Bootleg Edition.”  While I prefer the theatrical edition overall, there are elements of the Director’s cut I prefer.  The biggest diference between the two is the ending.  Raimi and Campbell prefer the Director’s cut ending, stating it is darker and keeps in line with the other films better.  I understand the argument but prefer the theatrical ending.  Ash still doesn’t “win” but it is better in line with the goofy nature of the film.  Which do you prefer?

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